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COT x Music #1: Introduction - Dr. Tomas Veloz

Location: Online
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Introduction to the basics of COT by Dr. Tomas Veloz

In this first public seminar Tomas will introduce the basics of Chemical Organization Theory (COT) in a non-technical manner. Examples will be analyzed to illustrate how these notions can be applied to represent the emergence of non-trivial behavior in musical systems.

The "Origins of Goal-directedness" is a large research project of the Center Leo Apostel, supported by the John Templeton foundation. The project uses the formalism of Chemical Organization Theory (COT) to model self-organization and the emergence of autopoietic systems. Dr. Tomas Veloz is the co-leader of the project, together with prof. dr. Francis Heylighen. He is also organizing a new research group to investigate how the reaction networks of COT could be used to generate music.

Dr. Tomas Veloz has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies and an MSc in computer science, with majors in mathematics and physics. He is one of the few experts worldwide in COT, who has proven mathematical results such as the decomposition theorem and the existence of quantum-like organizational structures. Over the last years, he has developed novel algorithmic methods to make the analysis of organizations computationally tractable.

About CLEA x Templeton project:
The Origins of Goal-directedness: a Formal Scenario based on Chemical Organization Theory and Cybernetics
This project proposes to develop a scenario for the self-organization of goal-directed systems out of networks of (chemical) reactions. Related scenarios have been proposed to explain the origin of life starting from autocatalytic sets, but these sets tend to be too unstable and dependent on their environment to maintain. The new formalism of Chemical Organization Theory shows mathematically under which conditions reaction networks self-organize into self-maintaining, autopoietic “organizations”. Through computer simulations, we will investigate what is needed to make an organization resilient, i.e. able to reach its goals in the face of environmental challenges. Using specially developed algorithmic tools, we will randomly generate and perturb computer-generated organizations, and select the ones that survive these perturbations, thus evolving increasingly resilient organizations.




The COT x Music online seminars discuss the possible applications of reaction networks - in particular the Chemical Organization Theory (COT) - to generative systems in art, focusing on music & sound. This series is an international collaboration around the research project "The Origins of Goal-directedness: a Formal Scenario based on Chemical Organization Theory and Cybernetics" led by the Center Leo Apostel, Vrije Universiteit Brussels and funded by the John Templeton Foundation. 

Read more about the seminars here:
and about the research project: